Is 7 Our Lucky Number?
There's a little something funny for you if you make it to the end of this blog. (Don't cheat.)
It's crazy to think we haven't even tried to get pregnant since September of last year.
That means five long months of what feels like just spinning our wheels.
Five long months without the hope of a positive pregnancy test.
Five long months of jumping through more hoops than anyone should have to just to become pregnant.....
It was time to give it another go.
Things were going to be different this time.
I was completely off hormones - YAY! We decided to do a natural cycle since my body was having fits with the hormones anyway
During my transvaginal ultrasound on February 22, we found I had a follicle on one of my ovaries that was almost 18mm! In the past (while on hormones) my follicles never measured that large - this was a good sign!
U of I had me do two trigger shots rather than only one (which is what I've done in the past) to trigger ovulation and increase our chances
I had to trigger at 10 p.m. on February 22 and exactly 36 hours later, I would go in for my IUI.
We typically fall asleep before 10 so we had to be sure to set an alarm!! ⏰
Teri & the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad SEVENTH IUI experience
Remember when I told you about my VERY FIRST IUI and how absolutely HORRIBLE it was? They had to try about 5 different speculums before they could get to my cervix....you can read about it here: Teri & the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad first IUI experience
Well, not to be outdone by #1, #7 swooped in and stole the title of "worst IUI experience" by a landslide.
If you research IUI, you'll typically find articles that say things like, "Intrauterine insemination is a fertility procedure that is typically quick and painless." Or, "The IUI procedure is relatively simple and only takes a few minutes once the semen sample is ready." And, "Usually, an IUI does not cause much discomfort for a woman. Most women say that it is about the same as having a pap smear."
NOT FOR ME, FRIENDS!
During an IUI, a speculum is inserted into the vagina and a catheter tip is threaded through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus. The plunger on the syringe is pressed and this causes the sperm to flow through the catheter into the uterus.
Sounds simple enough, right?
Yeah, right. Not that simple when your cervix is so difficult to reach. Scroll past this next part if you don't want to read the gory details...
All right, you can't say I didn't warn you...
They use saline instead of lubricant (lubricant can kill sperm––not sure what they were using at the other clinic but it definitely wasn't saline). Yeah, try shoving a cold, metal thing covered in a liquid consistent with WATER up your hoo-hah –– OUCH
The nurse used cotton balls and a long "tong-looking" thing to clean my cervix and soak up some of the saline (this was also different than anything I'd experienced at the other clinic)
After 15-20 minutes or so of the first speculum NOT WORKING, she gave up on the first one and found a different one to try
Another period of time went by trying to get this other speculum to work with lots of statements like, "This sounds silly, but try to relax." And, "Deep breaths." And (from my husband), "Squeeze my hand tighter, babe....You can do this!...Remember what Millie and Chubs did yesterday?"
Tears were silently streaming down my face–until they weren't silent any longer and I was sobbing on the table.
And finally – FINALLY – my cervix was in the the right place, the catheter was inserted and the vial of little swimmers were released from their tiny jail cell.
In case you were ever curious, this little container is what donor sperm comes in.
My Sharpie cap is bigger than it is!
Wine & Dine
This is a procedure that is only supposed to take 5-10 minutes total –– this time, it took 45+. The mixture of my very stubborn cervix, my anxiety, and the emotions behind another donor sperm IUI are at fault.
Our nurse was wonderful, and while it was a very uncomfortable procedure, she didn't lose her cool and was very meticulous in making sure everything was just right before putting the very expensive sperm through the catheter.
As Brian said after we got home,
"At the old clinic, it felt like a 'wham bam thank you ma'am' sort of thing. Here, they take their time and wine and dine you."
All for Nothing
That IUI was extremely traumatic for both Brian and me (and likely the nurse!). If there has to be a next time, they already prescribed me valium to take prior to the procedure. 😬
Next on the calendar was our IVF consultation which was to take place during our Two Week Wait (March 8 –– 12 days after the IUI).
I was hoping so hard that this IUI would stick, and we wouldn't need to remember anything from the IVF appointment.
However, as if on cue, I got my period the morning of our scheduled IVF consultation.
It felt like a thousand punches in the gut coupled with a million slaps in the face all while tumbling down a flight of 10,000 stairs–backwards.
When will it be OUR turn?
How much more heartbreak can I handle?
What does our future hold?
It's starting to feel absolutely hopeless.
I was going to end it there, but I can't leave you on such a negative note. If you made it all the way to the end, this is for you!
I'm calling it:
Things Overheard in a Fertility Clinic Waiting Room
Setting the scene: Brian and I have checked in and are just sitting, waiting to be called back. A woman walks in, checks in at the front desk, looks around, and tells the front desk associate that she left something in her car and she will be right back.
Brian (quietly to me): I bet it's her husband. I bet she left him in the car.
Me: Yeah right. Why wouldn't he have just come in with her?
90 seconds later: In walks the woman with, you guessed it, her husband! 🤣🤣
I'm not sure if it was a "you had to be there" moment, but we sure haven't stopped laughing about it since!